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Astrobiology. 2008 Jun;8(3):613-22. doi: 10.1089/ast.2007.0167.

JIRAM, the image spectrometer in the near infrared on board the Juno mission to Jupiter.

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  • 1Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica-Istituto di Fisica dello Spazio Interplanetario (INAF-IFSI), Rome, Italy.


The Jovian InfraRed Auroral Mapper (JIRAM) has been accepted by NASA for inclusion in the New Frontiers mission "Juno," which will launch in August 2011. JIRAM will explore the dynamics and the chemistry of Jupiter's auroral regions by high-contrast imaging and spectroscopy. It will also analyze jovian hot spots to determine their vertical structure and infer possible mechanisms for their formation. JIRAM will sound the jovian meteorological layer to map moist convection and determine water abundance and other constituents at depths that correspond to several bars pressure. JIRAM is equipped with a single telescope that accommodates both an infrared camera and a spectrometer to facilitate a large observational flexibility in obtaining simultaneous images in the L and M bands with the spectral radiance over the central zone of the images. Moreover, JIRAM will be able to perform spectral imaging of the planet in the 2.0-5.0 microm interval of wavelengths with a spectral resolution better than 10 nm. Instrument design, modes, and observation strategy will be optimized for operations onboard a spinning satellite in polar orbit around Jupiter. The JIRAM heritage comes from Italian-made, visual-infrared imaging spectrometers dedicated to planetary exploration, such as VIMS-V on Cassini, VIRTIS on Rosetta and Venus Express, and VIR-MS on the Dawn mission.

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